January 08, 2007

Meeting Other Purple Folk

It takes a little effort. They don't hang out a purple shingle. By now, you know that you are a minority. You don't have to watch daytime TV or shop at a discount warehouse to know you're out-numbered by parents.

At a certain age, you realize your friends are having babies and they don't have as much time to invest in your friendship, or they just aren't as much fun with toddler in tow. So, how to meet childfree people like you? It doesn't "take a village"; it takes an effort.

Here's a few ideas to start you off in the right direction for the New Year:

Purple WomenTM may want to look up the nearest No Kidding! (yes, it's appropriate to put the exclamation mark on the name, but don't ask me why) chapter. It's an international social club for childfree adults. There are 90 chapters around the globe. You can also start one near you.

This same organization holds an annual event, sometimes called a convention and sometimes called a Childfree Festival, but always a lot of fun and a good way to meet other Purple people. Not only did I attend my first one last summer, I helped to coordinate it as I was very active in my local Toronto, Canada chapter. The organizers just announced that the 2007 event will be in Las Vegas, October 25-28 if you want to mark your calendar. More details at www.nokiddingconvention.com. Hey, who needs an excuse to visit Lost Wages?!

Now that I am back stateside, I am taking my own advice and coordinating my first ever MeetUp group -- the SF Bay Area Childfree MeetUp. I am coordinating my own group to be sure it meets my own selfish (ahhhh, there's that horrible word applied to childfree people!) need to get out and discover places I've never been in the Bay Area. That's partly because I want to make sure that I am visiting cool venues, yet undiscovered by me, which are not located in the burbs where we've settled. Our first outing, a dinner at Jack London Square along the Oakland harborfront, was last night. I was thrilled that 14 people out of the 16 expected showed up. And, I got to meet The Fixed Kitty (The Adult Child-free Space poscaster) personally. Scholastically she is a biologist, and by trade she is a photographer...with a voice of honey.

[Why all the flattery? The Fixed Kitty is planning to feature me, the Purple Woman, on her podcast in the near future. Stay tuned!]

This is my first experience using MeetUp.com and the service is not free. It costs USD$45.00 per quarter for the use of their site and software, so it's a bit of an investment. So is the time to coordinate it -- as is any volunteer endeavour. I feel the investment in my social life and personal network is worth it.

At our first gathering, I learned about an adult-space movie theater in Berkeley, California: Parkway Speakeasy Theater, a "picture, pub and pizza" joint that is for those age 21 and over only. They serve real drinks. That tip alone was worth the effort! My husband and I plan to see a movie there soon.

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AlphaGirl said...

So much is crackin' in the Bay Area in terms of CF meetups and the like. You will soon find that you have found your Purple Haven! Good times await you!

Elise said...

Hey Teri,

Your turnout for your meetup was phenomenal by any measure: both for a 1st-time for your group, as also as a percentage of your group overall. I am in awe! We had 16 show up for our meetup on 1/7/07, but that's out of a group with almost 60 members! Wow.

Keep up the great work!

Teri said...

AG - Yes, if you are willing to drive or have access to BART the Bay Area is quite a fine place to explore.

E - I agree. I was pleasantly surprised at how many showed. I am really encouraged and hopeful the kind of social life I can have even though we have chosen to settle in a small suburban town. I always know that beautiful, world-class city by the bay is there for me.